New ‘axis of evil’ and Global North

Western media calls Russia-China visit a part of ‘a partnership against the West’

Shazia Anwer Cheema May 26, 2024
The writer is a PhD scholar of Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague. She can be reached at and tweets @ShaziaAnwerCh


On May 16 and 17, Vladimir Putin visited China in what was his first state visit to any country after being reelected as the President of Russia for a fifth time for the next six years.

Western media called the visit a part of ‘a partnership against the West’, saying Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have developed strong personal ties “as they both face soaring tensions with the West”.

Putin said he chose China for his first foreign trip after his re-election because of the “unprecedented level of strategic partnership between our countries”.

The day Putin visited China, all soft power of media was used to de-legitimise Xi as well as Putin who, according to Western media “believe that authoritarian regimes are better for confronting the challenges of the modern world”.

The importance of the visit can be gauged by the sheer size of the Russian delegation which included top officials from defence, national security, trade and culture ministries.

As an observer, I can see the collapse of the old rule-based order of the West and the shift in a global pivot from the northern hemisphere to a new rule-based system having Euro-Asia in the centre. If it is not so, then why Global North is expressing panic over “40 meetings between Xi and Putin”; why media is using all-out efforts to ‘discredit’ both of them; why there is an urgent need to reduce politics to semantic name-callings and planning as waging wars.

The economic, social and structural developments that took place in Russia under EU and US sanctions have helped Russia, as oligarchs and rich Russians have transferred their money back to Russia from European banks. Also, they are avoiding shopping sprees in European markets because they do not know when and where EU rules can ask them to stay for being wanted in so and so cases. Even European media confirms that the flight of money from Russia has stopped in the last five years.

The multitude of suppression has forced Russians to revert back to old ways of planning big and for the future. They revisited the doctrine of planning and shifted inward, becoming citizen-centric. Russia is planning massive investments into new scientific development and into new uncharted territories of research. Addressing at Harbin Institute of Technology of China, Putin emphasised Russia-China collaboration in the fields of physics to save the earth from possible threats coming from sky, and expressed same concerns during one of his interviews recently. Putin believes new principles of physics will be explored, such as space programme defending the earth against asteroids rains because that can result destruction on planet earth. The Food Security and Storage programme in Vladivostok, BRI, etc form a new chapter towards making life safer and easier for a common individual.

On the other hand, China claims that it has taken around one billion people out of grinding poverty and that it is constantly working for the well-being of its citizens. Western mindset considers this development as an ‘existential threat’. It is evident that the collective West/globalists/neo-cons/neo-liberals are treating Russia and China as an axis of evil. In the first decade of the 21st century, this status had been awarded to Iran, Iraq and North Korea. The irony of our time is that the West never fails to find a pretext for war and a deep look into historical events after World War II endorses the idea that Western politics is more or less name-calling and then planning wars. Therefore, facing defeat in the Ukraine war, the next theatre may be in the Indo-Pacific for “protecting Taiwan and for the greater good of humanity”.

Moreover, hasty sanctions on countries like Iran, Russia, and even China are paving the way for de-dollarisation. And Putin in his interview prior to his visit to a Chinese media outlet pointed out that 90% of the China-Russia trade is being carried out in local currencies and is outside of the global financial system. China and Russia are arranging the same kind of model with India while Pakistan and Iran are trying the same between them. African countries are also looking for old barter system kind of arrangements and this ‘infection’ is spreading all over the Global South that comprises 125 countries out of 193 independent states.

This economic shift is the result of sanctions that weaker countries are facing. Sanctions cause immediate interruption of the global banking system which is controlled by Global North. Therefore, Global South is looking forward to a system of transactions that is sanction-proof, especially in the midst of the threat of sanctions on Chinese banks that are undertaking transactions from Russia. While the West continuously keeps threatening the world’s majority with sanctions and war, Global South is tailoring ways to come out of the clutches of Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

Global South has been a theatre of wars, regime changes, coup d’tard and sanctions although it has producers like China and 80% global consumers. Global South, consequently, is avoiding wars with Global North but is following an independent economic system out of the clutches of Global North because anytime Global North can call any country an ‘axis of evil’. And everybody knows what follows this semiotic term.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2024.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.



Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ